The former capital of Nigeria still remains the epicenter of trade and commercial nerve-center of the country. Unarguably, it is the London of Nigeria, acting as the standard for fashion, slang, opportunities, and generally the trending things across the country. Residents of other cities in Nigeria, such as Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Kano, etc., hold the city and its inhabitants in high esteem. Amidst the high regard, some Nigerians speak of Lagos in a negative light.
One Twitter user had once called Lagos “the center of traffic, dirt and noise,” a satirical version of the motto of the state. It is not uncommon to see pictures and videos of refuse flooding entire elitist neighborhoods in the state due to rainfall or some other incidents. It is not surprising, then, that the city has been ranked the fourth least city to live in the world according to findings in the Global Liveability Index 2023, which was released on June 22, 2023, by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Survey find improvement in healthcare and education even at the bottom.
EIU is a sister organization to The Economist. The organization ranked 173 cities around the world in the survey based on a number of significant factors, including health care, education, stability, infrastructure and environment. Lagos was ranked fourth (170); Algiers, capital of Algeria was third (171); Tripoli, the Libyan capital, was on the 172nd spot, making it the second least liveable city in the world; and Damascus in Syria was the worst liveable city globally.
It was observed in the report that even at the bottom of the rankings, cities such as Lagos and Algiers had gained ground with some improvements within the healthcare and education systems. The report highlighted that both cities are in energy-exporting countries and have benefited from higher global oil and gas prices to an extent. Although corruption still festers in these countries, the government of each country has provided additional public funding for infrastructural development and enhanced public services, which have been made better from the decline in COVID-19 cases.
How other popular cities have fared in the index.
War-torn Damascus (in Syria), which is the lowest-ranked city in the world, has witnessed no improvement in its liveability scores despite Bashar al-Assad becoming the president of the country again in a regional political comeback. For the second consecutive year, the Austrian capital, Vienna, nicknamed the “city of dreams,” clinched the title of world’s most liveable city, based on a wide range of indicators. This is due to its excellent combination of stability, good culture and entertainment, reliable infrastructure, and exemplary education and health services. It has maintained its spot for a number of years, with only the COVID-19 pandemic causing it to slip off the top last year.
Copenhagen (Denmark) closely followed Vienna, and two Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne claimed the third and fourth positions of most liveable cities. These latter cities also just made a recovery after they ranked low on the index last year after a particularly infectious COVID-19 strain hit. Vancouver, Canada; Zurich, Switzerland; Calgary, Canada; Geneva, Switzerland; Toronto, Canada; and Osaka, Japan are ranked 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th respectively. Some European cities have experienced a sharp decline in ranking. The UK capital (London) and Sweden’s capital (Stockholm) both had lower rankings, the former dropping 12 places to 46th and the latter dropping 22 spots to 43rd position.
Average index score across the cities highest in 15 years.
According to the report, health care scores have improved the most, while those for education, culture and entertainment, and infrastructure are also higher. The Liveability Index has risen significantly in the 2023 survey, reaching a 15-year high as the world moves on from the COVID-19 pandemic, and healthcare and education scores are improving in many cities in Asia and the Middle East and Africa. The average index score across 172 cities (bar Kyiv in Ukraine, which is currently at war) has now reached 76.2 out of 100, the highest score in 15 years.
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